Sunday 26 May 2013

The secret

"Magic" is probably the only industry where you can buy the secret to something. I mean, you can't just sommer stroll into a kitchen and ask the chef to show you how they made it. You can't take a car apart and try and learn the secret to how it works. But, you can purchase a magic trick and learn how the illusion is contructed. This is something I have been exploring over the past year.

Hang on though, before you go thinking that it is all about the secret then just stop and think of the car or the restaurant, as examples. Like magic, there is a lot more to it than just the secret. The presentation is the key. And this is all about story telling. Story telling with props as Marcel Oudejans insightfully shared with me. Humour, misdirection, deception ... these are all part of the equation.

One of the most powerful instruments is the "magician's choice". I wonder how often we fall for this conceit. Where we think we are in control, but the opposite is true. Where we are asked to make a choice, but it doesn't really matter what we choose, because the magician is taking us down a path regardless of what we say.

Another thing about the secrets of magic are in the special props that are most often used. Sticky tape, magnets, saftey pins, paper clips, and more. Yeah, there are so many magnets used in magic. But magnets themselves are magical things. How does a magnet work? They either attract or repel; but how?

I am loving learning about this special art form, and about the difference between magic and cheating. As Gus Silber pointed out to me today, the big difference between magic and cheating is that magic allows you to suspend your disbelief, whereas cheating takes advantage of it.

There is so much to learn. So many secrets. So many different scripts and presentation ideas.


Posted by Ronnie Apteker


Marcel said...

Well said sir!